Mount Everest, which is located in the depths of the Himalayas, is undoubtedly the most famous and most attractive mountain on our planet. It is the highest mountain on Earth, according to what we knew in our early studies.
However, according to the reports of researchers and experts, the latest of which was published by Live Science, we may be surprised to hear that there are other peaks that can be considered higher on the surface of the Earth, based on other criteria for mountain height measurements.
Everest is 8,848.86 meters above sea level, or approximately 8.8 kilometers (Getty Images)
highest relative to sea level
According to a Live Science report, researchers have measured Mount Everest several times over the past few decades, but the latest assessment announced was last November, which puts it at 8,848.86 meters above sea level.
This is an impressive height, but it also raises the question: Why do we use the phrase "above sea level" as a standard of measurement when determining the world's highest peak?
"Measuring according to sea level is not the only or most accurate criterion for measuring the height of mountains," Professor Martin Price, professor and founding director of the Center for Mountain Studies at the University of Highlands and Islands in Scotland, told Live Science.
There are various other criteria that are adopted, including the longest in elevation, the longest from the base to the top, and the longest based on being farthest from the center of the Earth, so in order to have a comparison in measurements it is necessary to have a baseline.
“In order to have a comparison in measurements, it is necessary to have a consistent baseline,” Price says. “Historically, until now, altitude is usually given as height above mean sea level.”
However, this must be in reference to the standard mean sea level, which has to be determined, as sea levels vary in different parts of the world, and change due to climate change, and accordingly “height is now measured relative to the geologically determined mathematically All mountains are from sea level, for convenience and consistency.
The height of Mauna Kea above sea level is less than half the height of Everest, but a large part of it is buried underground (Getty Images)
Will Everest still be on top of the list?
Based on Price's statement, the report raises the question of whether the measurement of all mountains from sea level is abandoned, will Everest still be at the top of the list?
The answer, says the report, is "No." Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano in Hawaii, will take the honor as the highest peak on Earth when sea level is not taken into account.
This answer comes despite the fact that the summit of Mauna Kea is 4205 meters above sea level, which is less than half the height of Mount Everest, according to a report published by the National Geographic website, as a large part of it is buried underground, when measured from the base To the summit this volcano is 10,211 meters high, according to the United States Geological Survey USGS.
"It all depends on what perspective you take. If there were no oceans on our planet, there would be no debate! You can make comparisons with the highest mountains on other bodies in our solar system that don't have oceans," Price says.
From another perspective, Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador may be the tallest (Getty Images)
Farthest point from the center of the earth
On the other hand, according to a Live Science report, Chimborazo in Ecuador may be the tallest from another perspective, because it is characterized by a summit that is the farthest point from the center of the Earth.
And Mount Chimborazo is not the highest mountain in the Andes, not even among the 30 highest mountains in the world, but it is its proximity to the equator that makes the difference, as the Earth is not technically a perfect ball, it is a round (egg-shaped) ball, and it bulges along the equator This is the result of the force caused by the rotation of the Earth.
So that means there is a difference of 21.39 kilometers between the planet's polar radius (6,356.75 km) and its equatorial radius (6,378.14 km), according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Chimborazo is located only one degree south of the equator, where the Earth's bulge is most noticeable;
This geographical evasion means that the summit of Chimborazo is located more than 6,384 km from the Earth's core, which makes it 2,072 meters more than the center of the planet from the summit of Everest.
Price points out that Mount Everest is the highest mountain above sea level, while Mauna Kea can certainly claim to be the highest mountain in the world when sea level is not taken into account.
It may be hard to prove that Chimborazo is the tallest, but "it's all about our perspective on the measurements."